Could trams be coming to Bath?16th February 2018
As a city, Bath is great to explore on foot. It is also well-connected by road, rail and bus, but a brand new form of transport designed to ease congestion in the city centre could soon be on the cards for this UNESCO World Heritage City.
According to a number of press reports, Bath and North East Somerset Council is exploring the possibility of bringing a light rail system to Bath. A preliminary study has been launched to see whether it is feasible to introduce a Bath tram system, if demand is there and whereabout in the city a new form of transportation is needed.
Potential routes for Bath trams under consideration
The local authority has revealed that it is looking into a number of key ‘corridors’ which have potential for a light rail system to be implemented. These include Odd Down, Whiteway, Upper Weston and Bathford. For those wondering would trams ease park and ride in Bath, which can often be oversubscribed, the answer is likely to be yes – the proposed routes would visit a number of park and ride sites including Lansdown and Odd Down.
Would trams be good for Bath?
A campaign group backing the move, the Bath Tram Re-Introduction Group, met in October 2017 to discuss how trams could potentially reduce congestion. Explaining how this could work, Dave Andrews from Bath Trams UK, told the Bath Chronicle:
“In Bath, we have five per cent of journeys on buses and 62 per cent in cars and that’s the problem we have to solve. The cars slow themselves down and slow the buses down.
“If you put a tram in it would be every six minutes, which is better than a bus, and because it’s three or four carriages with a different arrangement inside you can get around 300 people on a tram.”
One of the key topics for discussion was integration with other public transport systems, which could be extremely important for the success of such a scheme.
Could Bath trams be good news for tourism?
Bath receives over 330,000 overnight visitors a year, with tourists flocking to key attractions including the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and The Assembly Rooms. A convenient tram network could be hugely helpful in transporting these visitors across the city centre and beyond, but there is yet another benefit from a tourism point of view.
There was actually a Bath tram system in place between 1904 to 1939, travelling all across the city. Tourists would love this to be reinstated, particularly if there was a nod to the old system and to classic old trams, reminding visitors of Bath’s lengthy history as a holiday and leisure town.
As for when visitors and residents could expect to see Bath trams moving through the streets of the city, a little patience is due. The council has completed and is encouraged by its preliminary study, but these projects can take a long time to get off the ground. Watch this space for more Bath trams news from Bath Holiday Rentals!